Flood Insurance Costs a Lot Less than Possible Damage

Mar 15, 2019

If you think your homeowners insurance covers flooding, think again. As snow melts, rain falls, and rivers rise this spring, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is reminding people to learn about flood insurance and buy appropriate coverage.

Michelle O'Neill has more.

David Maurstad, FEMA'sDeputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, is also the Chief Executive of the National Flood Insurance Program.
Credit submitted / FEMA

David Maurstad is the head of the National Flood Insurance Program. He says only about 30% of properties located in high risk areas are covered, and only 4% outside those areas.

Damage to buildings and their contents is covered if the high water is cause by rain or rising lakes or rivers.

And Maurstad says the policies are affordable, averaging less than $500/year in locations that are not flood-prone. Of course, coverage of properties in high risk areas is higher. But he says it's far less than the average of claims paid after a recent hurricane, around $118,000. And renters need flood insurance, too.

After buying flood insurance, there's a 30-day waiting period before it goes into effect. More information is available FloodSmart.gov.